About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. One very simple goal we have is to always hold back our church donations when my husband gets paid, so that there’s never a risk of coming up short on Sunday.

  2. Thank you so much for this encouragement!! Truly managing our finances – being good stewards of what God has blessed us with…IS a spiritual issue! Our main financial goal this year is to pay off our credit card!!! We are learning to live within our means, it’s a hard lesson to learn but thank the Lord for His Patience with us!! 🙂

  3. I have 2 words…..DAVE….RAMSEY…..
    Took us less than 2 years and we paid off about $50,000.00 of debt. Yes all those zeros are correct! Grocery bill was slim, no eating out, not a very big Christmas during that time or big birthdays (we have 4 kids), but God always provided and we made it thru.

  4. My husband and I have just recently started our Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey). Last year, we had used part of our tax refund to pay off most of our debt and we did it again this year. We are now completely out of debt, own our 3 vehicles straight-up. We are now saving for our trip out to Quebec this summer to meet our new niece who will be born anytime within the next couple weeks and also getting our 6-month savings in the bank so we can start investing. Last week we finished putting together our $1000 emergency fund…it’s so nice to know that we have that in the bank! I feel like I can finally really start dreaming about building our own house in a few years.

  5. Thank you so much Jennifer!! This subject has been weighing heavy on my heart lately. I do have “what if we will the lottery” moments…all too often I’m afraid. And there are numerous times I look at something with “need” goggles on instead of realizing they are really just “wants”. I am tired of living this way…and I am definitely tired of debt collectors calling me!! Ha! We have a lot of medical debt from having 4 kiddos, but other than that we just have our car and mortgage. I have been debt free and that feeling is amazing!! Thank you again for this encouraging word.

  6. This is just what I needed to see! We’ve been working towards better financial management, and have made good progress, but every time we reach one goal, it seems we relax and then we lose momentum. It then takes a lot (or a crisis, unfortunately) to get us back in action working towards our goals. Thanks for the encouragement here!

  7. visiting from Beauty/bedlam. Thank you so much. DH and I have very different ideas on finances and our picture is definitely not good for the age we are (50’s) The stress is sometimes overwhelming, but just reading the scripture eased me up a bit. I know that God is in control…sometimes I forget that

  8. This is a great post, one that most people can relate to right now. I don’t think any of us “likes” feeling this economic situation, but I KNOW God can and IS using it for Good in so many ways. I know, in our own family He certainly has.
    AMEN to Philippians 4:11-13!

  9. Re-did the budget in early January…and haven’t looked at it since.
    Ahem.
    Yeah, I know better.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight.com

  10. I just found your blog through Thrifty Decor Chick. It is ironic that I found your blog today, since I just got back from going to the bank and getting our cash for our envelope system for the next two weeks. God bless Dave Ramsey! We just finished the course about one week before Christmas, and it has been one of the best experiences of our married life. We are FINALLY on the same page financially. I learned the first week of the course that my husband had never budgeted before! He had never learned how. He was blessed, or was he?, with a good job right out of tech., which more than covered his expenses, and so he never learned how to be a good steward of His money, and he was never taught that concept in his home growing up. We just finished our baby step one, and another two or three months and baby step two will be taken care of. We are going with gazelle intensity and feel SO invigorated. When I stand before God, and want Him to be able to tell me I have been a faithful servant with what he entrusted to me. I’m adding your blog to my blogroll, check me out sometime if you get the chance.

  11. Thank you so much for this, Jen! It is very timely in my life! It is a challenging time for me, especially since someone illegally stopped paying me $300.00 they owe me every month. That coupled with washing machine breaking, teeth needing expensive repair and…and…it has been a trial I am not used to dealing with.

    I still have not processed all that the Lord is trying to tell me through this but certainly needing to differentiate between “needs” and “wants”, as you mention has been one thing. It has also helped me realize how very blessed I am to have any income as I see the very sad unemployment numbers posted every month in our country.

    God bless you, sister!

  12. God is SO growing me in the area of holding our money with OPEN hands! It has brought incredible freedom to this tightfisted God-girl.

    One of the things we started doing was ‘tithing’ off of our tax refund check. The money goes into a separate pot that we use for ministry. The only rule is that we as a family can in no way benefit from it. We use it to buy flowers, books, and a myriad of other things that can bless and help those that God puts in our path. I am finding GREAT joy in giving away God’s money!

  13. My husband crunched the numbers and the amount we spent on food was eye opening. He made a budget, cutting our food by 25 or 30% and we found an app called Home Budget to track spending. It\’s too embarrasing to tell you how much our coffee spending was, even the current budget is higher than I am comfortable with, but I am so glad that we came in just over the halfway mark last month. We enter the amount as we spend it, and then can see the amount spent in a graph (pictoral) and the amount left as a number (and it goes red if you go over the budget!). I\’m thankful for the app because it\’s positive and it syncs between us automatically. Finally I feel we are working together. In January I kept hearing the Bible verse, \”Whose God is their stomach, whose glory is in their shame,\” and prayed and prayed that it would not be true of us! Thanking God for his word, for corrective love.

  14. Thanks for this TIMELY reminder! lEarning to be content and at peace in everything…..we did Financial Peace University about 10 years ago – SO wish we had done it in the first 5 yrs we were married! But, it is ALWAYS good to be reminded of these principals…..been watching a lot of HGTV lately while my daughter is home sick and it’s made me begin thinking about “how MUCH” I REALLY want to re-do our bathroom….oh, and while we’re at it, let’s extend our bedroom and make it a master suite with our own bathroom…..in a neighborhood where we would really overprice our house and never get it back as an investment….not to mention WE DON”T HAVE THE MONEY for it! Time to turn off HGTV and tune in to God’s Word! Thanks

  15. Thanks so much for this – what a perfect time for yet another downsized American family to remember that the riches that are important aren’t those in our wallets. We are working on figuring out living on one income rather than 2 and realizing that a lot of the things we have to cut back on are not true needs.